Let’s take a look back at Lean Agile Scotland 2017

Reflections from Berlin Lean Coffee
November 21, 2017
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Let’s take a look back at Lean Agile Scotland 2017

It’s been two months since together with my teammates  – Ania and Slava I flew to Edinburgh to attend Lean Agile Scotland 2017 conference. It’s a good moment to look back at the event considering the organizers lately published video recordings for most of this year presentations. It’s a good moment to think about some of the topics retrospectively. Naturally it’s equally good opportunity to recommend some of the videos to people, who didn’t attend the conference in person. Here it goes..

A first video to recommend comes from a presentation, which I actually missed being a little late of Day 1. It’s a presentation by Dan Vacanti well-known in for his work on agile and lean metrics. His LAScot story starts with the history of a Company which constructed.. the Titanic and challenges the audience with questions about cycle time, restarting work, etc.

The video link.

A strong and intriguing point finishing Day 1 was the endnote given by Esko Kilpi. His inspirational speech raised many questions about the future of work and the types of management it needs. He spoke about a vision and possible ways to build sustainable professional, political or economic world.

The video link.

Day Two was for me full of the most awaited slots during the conference. First – Klaus Leopold talking about a second wave of transforming a big organization, following some superficial and failing attempts in introducing agile. He focused a full business agility instead. Based on his case study we could learn how with expanding horizons of Kanban Method you can get things working much better end-to-end.

The video link.

Second slot I really waited for was an introduction to forecasting delivered by Troy Maggenis. Troy is known for publishing his work, including “magic” Excel sheets, which allows the teams to find reliable answers to the questions about “what” and “in how much time”. If you don’t know his work and you find yourself as a traditional Project Manager, open-minded Scrum Master or a Product person looking for the answers I recommend you to check his Github profile.

The video link.

I completed Day 2 by participating in a workshop hosted by Dominica DeGrandis in which she has focused on some lean exercises useful to understand the impact on the flow or work, the power of visualization and picking up the right metrics for efficiency. Her workshop hasn’t been recorded but if you are looking for some practical inspirations on visualizing work you may be interested in her latest book Making Work Visible available already or a pre-order in some regions.

Out of all session from Day 3 I enjoyed very much an opening keynote by Luke Hohmann, who in his Californian-style speech introduced the audience to the way some games can fix issues beyond our business domain – communities, participatory budgets, education to name just a few. At the same time, he referred to Scrum as just another game, a game which you should at some point of time “mod”, just like we do with Monopoly or many other board or digital games.

The video link.

One additional reflection is that during who three days I can’t recall how few times I have heard word Scrum. It’s not a coincidence the conference’s called Lean Agile. These two wor(l)ds were discussed and presented as complementary, where mixing ways drives to improving the work environment. No dogmatic flame wars, no exclusion, just because you practice A and I do B.

Later during the day Joakim Sunden decided to demystify the Spotify model, which surely opened many eyes that the grass is rarely greener on the other side. He openly communicated that many things and practices, which people take for granted, something what definitely happens at Spotify, is still just a true north, a wish. The team with their freedom and the whole environment of fast growing Company is much more diversified internally than we could expect or imagine based on well-known blog posts.

The video link.

A very strong session at the end was a presentation given by Peter Aitken on how our language and behavior could be more inclusive. It’s a recurring topic of consequences of our biases, blindness to actions and words which can hurt people and have serious consequences.

The video link.

If you had a problem with being in two places at once you can make up for it and watch a great talk by Julia Wester, who spoke about going beyond the initial quick wins when working on a lean transformation using Kanban Method.

The video link.

and learn some basics about the lag and lead metrics introduced in 4DX method by Matt Wynne and Sinead Shackley

Looking back at three very intensive days in Edinburgh it’s great the organizers decided to record and publish videos on so many important topics, which are hard to reflect and act on immediately after the event.

The video link.

OK, I know a lot to watch and think over, but it’s worth it! Huge Respect and thanks to the organizing team and great community of LAScot attendees!

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